“Days fly fast!”. A quote I heard a million times from people around me. I didn’t recognize the hidden meaning until a few years ago when I found a “DIFFERENT ME”. In all means, a different me. I didn’t even recognize when and how the teenage, twenties, and almost the thirties stages of my life had passed. Why a different me? If I mentioned the changes related to outer appearance, perspective, interests, the change in fashion taste, or even food choices, it would all seem as normal changes due to mental maturity. But the “different me” appeared in the radical change in my attitude, mindset, and perspective towards “children.”

The roots of this change were in one of the kindergarten classes, where I had to apply my practicum course at the age of 20. I was looking at the kids with non-stop movement as weird creatures. On my way to the door to leave with an intention not to come back, a tiny girl stopped me: “Why are you here?” I didn’t answer. I didn’t know what to answer. This unanswered question was the first brick set in designing the “different me”. The night was long as I lingered on that question; why was I there?

That “Aha” moment has transformed the way I perceive children. This little child’s words have echoed in my head and have given me purpose. I shifted from a person who, as many, believes that children are different creatures, noisy ones, and ones who are hard to deal with to a person who has the eagerness and passion to give them a hand, to understand them, and to guide them throughout their journey. Also, the many observations, discussions, hugs, giggles, innocent replies, and unexpected answers have hooked me more and made these little creatures a major part of my life. I felt different, and I saw the “different me” every time I heard a child sharing a feeling, a thought, and a moment with me. I felt it also when they were so angry and shared their genuine feelings with me after their anger has faded; I discovered ways and methods of dealing with their different feelings.

The “different me” entered a new world, the “new me” was eager and anxious to meet new children every year. Ever since I heard that child asking me this question till now, I’m still passionate about these little creatures and about unfolding the secrets of their innocent world!

Mona Abla

English Homeroom Teacher at Al Hayat International School

License in Early Childhood Education- Lebanese University

Teaching Diploma – Faculty of Pedagogy- Lebanese University